Welcome all, to the brave new world. I'm not eager to delve too far into the Alex Rios mess because: a) he's already gone. If you saw this coming, you're a liar. b) Stoeten and the Tao both killed it already. Knocked it a mile out of the park. Why bother trying and failing where they've already so obviously succeeded? c) I make an effort to stay out of business affairs as best I can. But here goes.
Know this: reinvested my ass. Beeston famously said "if you're going to spend $100M, you might as well spend $80." Well shit, if you're going to spend $80 in the AL East, you might as well spend $60. So they will. The repercussions of letting a 4/5 WAR player walk ain't insignificant &mdash this will inform the team's decisions for the coming years.
Ed: I know it might cost me membership in the superduper Blue Jays friend club, but fuck Beeston. Why am I supposed to buy everything he or his parrot McCown say and treat every utterance of Riccardi's as patently false? Of the two, who has a bigger stake in consumer confidence and staying on-message? I'm sure he's quite the gladhander and he oversaw some good teams, but enough.
Marco Scutaro WILL NOT be resigned. The two draft picks are what they're after. A sign and trade is the best case scenario for 2010. I've had this feeling for a little while, which is why all the "J.J. Hardy to waivers" talk got me excited. I've longed for Hardy before, and mired in a terribly unlucky season (xBABIP 50 points higher than his current rate, a sure way to fuck up your year) he could be a reasonable replacement for the suddenly superlative Scutaro. Now I'm dubious at best.
Two things I think I know for sure: this team is going hella young and Cito Gaston is not the man to lead it. I've made my comments about Cito before but I just don't see how he can continually be allowed to butcher the in-game management with kids and retreads when he clearly loathes one but fiercely protects the other.
Lose one now to win two later? How's that working out? I seem to recall more wins during the "now" phase than this "later" shitstorm. Two days ago Cito got the boot and I expressed delight over the bullpen management. Give Butterfield the job. Has he not earned it? Does this team not deserve a fresh start to accompany the ongoing face lift? How much more blood do we expect to ring from the 1993 stone?
Then again, the subtraction of Rios and Rolen will turn the Toronto Blue Jays into a bad defensive club in a hurry. Joe Inglett is no man's left fielder, a right fielder he'll never be. Butter's infield magic is in such dire need now that adding more to his plate should be discouraged.
At this point, doesn't JP kinda hafta go as well? There is zero value in keeping him around, other than to avoid paying two guys to do one job. If they truly think they're going to gear up for a huge push at Halladay and/or the wild card in 2010 then keep him in place. Give him a chance to really put his philosophy to the test with some new infielders supporting the pitching staff of his design. If not, promote the assistant GM and bench coach and try to catch fire in a bottle just like 25 other teams do a year. Better than a kick in head, I suppose.
Update: Check out my (somewhat cryptic) warning-come-introduction of Alex Rios to Chicago at the 35th Street Review